Browsing through some of my old posts, I stumbled across a comment that I never got back to! TSLuna asked me how to increase views on one’s online output. I can definitely share some of the things I’ve done that have increased the ilam’s popularity. However, I blog mostly for fun and so I have not been very invested in increasing my popularity, so these are definitely not the only ways to increase your readership.
Along with replying to comments, actively maintain one or two more social media portals. For example, I tweet quite frequently, and outside of this blog, I interact with my readers most on Twitter. Recently, I have discovered tumblr and Pinterest are quite good at directing views to ilam, though I do not keep a Pinterest. However, just posting things on social media is not enough; you definitely need to make the time to interact with the people who are commenting on your things and talking to you. They took the time to write a comment to you and read your blog, so you should definitely repay the favor. Besides, why did you enable the comments unless you actually wanted people to interact with you?
For bigger blogs with thousands of comments, replying to everything is not feasible, of course, but for smaller blogs like mine and maybe yours, it is worth it because you are showing that everyone matters and you value their opinion. In the long run, I think it is better to have a small group of loyal readers as opposed to a large group of people who skim headlines.
You should choose carefully the social media outlets you use. For example, if you want to appeal to a bunch of tech geeks, Google+ is the way to go. For kpop, I think it must be a combination of tumblr and Twitter. For stay-at-home moms, you should definitely give Pinterest a whirl. For hipsters, Instagram.. and the list goes on.
(Though I must confess, there are some comments I have never replied to because I can’t bring myself to think about it yet. Schubert comment, I will someday get back to you! One day!)
Produce content on schedule. Alas, I struggle with this heavily because I have a highly hectic schedule from year to year. However, if you have a reliable timetable, people will be more inclined to check what you are up to and pay attention. These past two weeks, I have been posting like a madwoman, and I have been subsequently been rewarded with many more views.
Produce good content. This is the most important and hardest thing to do, because you need to find what exactly makes you stand out and subsequently hone your craft. It can feel frustrating that maybe you do something really well (like reviewing SHINee), but no one pays attention (you only show up on the third page of Google results). Nonetheless, I am a firm believer that if you keep persevering, eventually the right people will notice you. No one is going to notice you if you do not have good content at first, no matter how good your publicity is.
Also, play to your intended audience. If I was like the anti-kpop fangirl, cursing and using internet lingo everywhere, I do not think I would appeal to my target audience, which I believe is mostly well-educated and greater than 15 years old. If you are on the fence of whether you should be colloquial or professional with your language, I would first try professional, because toning down the professional is a lot easier than trying to change your image from low-brow to high-brow. I admit this is a huge consistency problem with ilam, where for a time I was highly colloquial and then highly strict, but now I think I have settled in a good medium. I also will say that if I start to read a kpop review that does not use proper grammar, I immediately distrust anything they are about to tell me. If you are interested in reading about what makes a kpop review good, check out this previous post.
Be passive-aggressive about publicity. Ask some of your friends to put you on their blogrolls, go on similar blogs and leave thoughtful comments (while leaving a link to your blog), post on forums with your blog link in your signature. Unless someone is directly asking for your blog or opinion, do not post something like “LOOKIT MY BLOG IT IS SO AMAZIN’ N SHINY”. Be tactful and considerate.
You can also consider doing collaborations and perhaps guest posting on another blog. For example, you could apply to write on seoulbeats or koreaboo, which would definitely increase your publicity. I considered doing that but seeing what kind of comments seoulbeats tends to attract, I am a big fat coward and decided not to do it for now, as I am very content to fester in the relative anonymity of my home blog.